Don’t be alarmed, my building style hasn’t regressed - I’m doing some housekeeping, and that means breaking some older LOM entries into several parts for ease of reading. This MOC was originally posted on July 19, 2013.
About this creation
Steven Georges’ Son - Scruffy protagonist
William Farrer - One-eyed former helmsman
Igor - Steven’s rookie cousin
Sven - An expendable soldier
Various dwarves and goblins
“Which way next, Igor?”
Steven peered ahead into the gloom of the tunnel. Branches and dead-ends, turn-arounds and the all-concealing darkness… nothing in this nightmarish landscape pleased the eye or calmed the mind.
“Take a right, Steven. No, wait a minute…”
“Which way are you holding that ma - shh! There’s a light ahead.”
The four soldiers approach the glow with caution, uncertain whether the owner of the fire was friendly or otherwise.
“Well? What can you see?” Farrer asked. Steven answered.
“Two groups, it looks like. They’re talking.”
Perhaps twenty feet below, at the bottom of a sizeable shaft with many branches, three dwarves and four orcs – or goblins, as Steven’s second self knew to be the proper term for the shorter, mine-dwelling variety of the green-hued race – stood uneasily on their respective sides.
“Where’s your sneaking archer? We don’t talk if we can’t see him!” an orc – goblin – with a two-headed axe demanded. He was answered by a dwarf in a druidic hood.
“And we don’t talk without our insurance. Do you propose a compromise?”
No compromise was proposed, because at that point a scruffy dwarf noticed Steven’s torchlight beaming down from the fissure above.
“Hey! Look up there!”
“Traitors! You thought you could trap us!”
“No, wait - It’s another group of giants. Get them!”
The two species scattered down tunnels, the thumping of running feet echoing behind them. Igor turned to Steven.
“What do we do?”
“Really, Igor? What do we do when outnumbered two-to-one in strange territory?”
“Er… dig in?”
“We run. And quickly.”
Led by Steven’s torch, the Rainosians dashed back the way they thought they had come.
“This way! I recognize the ro-“
With a drawn-out series of grunts and thuds, a neck-high cord stretched across the tunnel brought the war-band to a painful halt. Lying in the darkness, the Rainosians reigned in their breath and listened for their pursuers. Squeaky goblin curses echoed through the caves, gradually diminishing as the hunters missed their turn and lost their quarry. Slowly, almost boiling over with relief, Steven’s band began to find its feet. Igor sighed.
Blinding, arcane light flooded the corridor without warning, and beardless, tribal dwarves were everywhere. Steven drew his sword, and –
Darkness fell again. Thumps and clangs sounded as crude weapons struck shields, armor and the occasional patch of unprotected flesh. Erratic bursts of weaponized magelight erupted from the hands of the shadowy dwarfish druid, until one voice broke through the concentration of the combatants.
“Hold, you cave rats! That goes for the dwarves, too!”
Reason doesn’t normally carry much weight in a battle. Blades and arrows and clubs and armor had carried every other battle Steven had been in, but he had never fought a skirmish in a cave before. Echoes were a force to be reckoned with.
As the tide of sound died away, the combat halted and the cavern was illuminated by a soft weir-glow. Farrer lit the torch.
Steven had positioned the tip of his sword an inch above the throat of the mage, but his advantage was canceled by the presence of a dwarf archer, whose drawn bow made the Rainosian crossbowman seriously question whether he could still get into the hall of warriors if he was shot in an attempt to stop a fight. The bowman in turn was threatened by Igor’s new battleaxe, which traced patterns in the air as its master struggled to keep it aloft. Nobody was pointing a sharp object at either Farrer or Igor, but Sven was in danger of being double-teamed in a corner.
“We seem to be at an impasse,” Sven commented, winning points for the best drawl under pressure.
“There’s always the Meids solution,” offered the druid from the floor, noticeably less comfortable in his predicament.
“We forget the whole thing and have dinner.*”
*This was the actual result of the First Battle of Meids, in which the local kings Albus the Wide-Eyed and William the Obsessor arranged a battle to determine the lordship of the future city-state only to find that none of their thanes or men-at-arms could be bothered to attend. The two chieftains and their handfuls of bodyguards spent the day glaring at each other from opposite sides of the field until they gave up their quarrel and retired to Albus’ castle to discuss the flaws in the feudal system over a banquet provided by serf labor. Of course, this is an irrelevant detail (made up on the spot) that you probably didn’t care to know.
I just read the whole thing a few days ago when it was still in one post, and now you repost it... :P Well, at least that gives me a chance to comment. This has an awesome story. I can tell that the builds are from a while back, but they're still good. My favorite is the one in which the goblins and dwarves/elves first appear.